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Memorial created 01-1-2006 by
Adelle Tilton
Floyd Tilton
August 2 1946 - March 8 2002

This memorial has just been started. There will be content added and it will take some time to complete it. It is difficult to sum up the life of someone so dear, so precious, so loved, and so horribly missed, so please bear with us.

Floyd was born in Hawaii on August 2, 1946 and grew up in Joplin, Missouri. He was an only child and was preceded in death by his parents. He was very active in sports and had considered baseball as a career. He had a good chance with the St. Louis Cardinals except for that little curve ball problem. Floyd would always flinch when a curve ball was pitched to him. He worked with Whitey Ford for a long time to overcome that obstacle but it seemed baseball was not to be in his future beyond the knee injury that plagued him.

Floyd loved auto racing of any kind. If it had wheels and turned left he was a devoted fan. His true love in racing was NASCAR and he knew the sport inside out. Floyd served our country in the United States Air Force during the Vietnam era, working in a hospital in the states. He had many medals and campaign ribbons having served in Desert Storm as well. Floyd was a teacher for 17 years at the junior, senior, and college level. He taught English, drama, theater and debate and his debate team was often a contender (and winner) on the state level. He continued to love to debate for the challenge and mental stimulation. There were many times we would watch the news together and he would make a statement of something he believed in. I would take the opposite side, regardless of what I thought about the subject, and engage him in a debate. He loved to win but I think he almost loved losing more. I remember once him saying to me that he wished I had been on his debate team. He enjoyed the actual mechanics of a debate and it was delightful to watch his mind work. He was quick but he loved it when someone could box him into a corner with no intellectual escape.


Floyd's interest in autism began when he became the stepfather of an autistic boy. He had worked on the fringes of special education as a teacher, but through his stepson, autism became his passion. He devoted his life to not only finding a treatment but also working to prepare parents and society for the time when children with autism became adults with autism. He was very concerned about the increase in incidence. But, Floyd's main concern for autism was unity. He believed that nothing was more important for parents and caregivers than unity due to the division within the autism community. Floyd had developed the unique ability to work with all groups and believed that if people involved in autism could set their differences aside, progress could be made. Our son and his autism became an enormous part of his life and he embraced it with love and determination to make our son the best autistic person he could be. He tolerated the endless lines of items around our house, the outbursts of temper, and the difficult efforts with communication. His patience seemed to have no end. Through all of that, he never turned his back on his 11-year-old stepdaughter realizing her world could not become the world of our son, and he was a hero in her eyes. Floyd tried to be there for each and every parent who wrote him about autism and PDD issues. He saw the parent and child with needs that mattered to him a great deal. He would research individual problems and provide any information he could. He saw in each child with autism, his own stepson, and for the time he worked with that parent or caregiver, that child was the most important person in the world. He was not a man to talk about his mission; he just did it, without acclaim and without expecting anything in return. His reward was in knowing that maybe he had given some guidance that might be useful. He only hoped to make someone's path a little easier to walk. Floyd was a very serious man with an intensity that came from deep within his personality. He was thoughtful, insightful and intelligent. He had a tremendous sense of humor he would show to those close to him. His laugh came from deep within and was heard all over the house when something struck him as funny. He was a man comfortable with emotions, allowing sorrow and tears to exist comfortably within him. He was tender and gentle. He was patient and kind and he lived to take care of others.


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